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Money does grow on trees: Russia to boost timber sales

The government wants to boost exports of processed timber. Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov made the announcement on a visit to Vologda region to discuss Russia's forestry and timber industries.

However, industry analysts remain sceptical. They say the country lacks processing capacity and technological expertise. They also say management practices in the industry are old-fashioned and urgently need updating.

Dmitry Ryzhakov, analyst at Step by Step in Moscow, says Russia needs to “introduce detailed planning and to improve its technical expertise. This will improve understanding of Russia's forestry resources and improve the industry's status.”

“Currently Russia's influence in the world timber industry is minimal – less than 2% of global timber exports. That's despite the fact that 20% of the world's timber resources are here in Russia,” Ryzhakov said.